Most technology business today are strategising solutions to the challenges of:
- finding the best IT talent
- maintaining the talent pools necessary to quickly resolve attrition
- fuelling further business expansion
Human resources departments face the difficult challenge of maintaining quality IT hiring with Ministry of Manpower (MoM) quotas to hire Singaporean talent versus foreign talent.
The HR professional faces a battle to maintain the quality of the IT hire with the need to remain within the correct Ministry of Manpower (MoM) guidelines for quotas of foreign talent versus local Singaporean talent.
The guidelines are extremely strict, the expected ratio of home-grown talent in any business department stands at roughly 60%, and the approvals for Employment Passes (EP) have been increasingly rejected for foreign IT professionals, even those equipped with the ideal experience and skill set. As such HR departments are continuously challenged by high demand yet the supply of experienced IT Singaporean talent is limited. The strict regulations mean there is very little an HR team can do to deal with the shortage of local talent when under pressure to both source from and build talent pools.
This overall scenario makes the sourcing part the recruitment process very challenging for HR and TA teams in technology sector and the shortage of talent shows no signs of abating.
Any growing company requires talented, capable and highly-skilled professionals, and this of course very much magnifies in rapidly-growing tech companies. Finding and hiring employees of a high standard in a competitive environment can be a long and time-consuming process, one in which leaders often struggle to find enough time to get fully involved.
The strict MoM guidelines, talent shortages and short timespans go hand-in-hand with the fact that growing tech companies often don’t have sufficient hiring experience to estimate at what pace they should be hiring at, therefore resulting in a more reactive talent acquisition appproach than a proactive one.
With a talent shortage the choice becomes whether to wait for a candidate who is a good culture fit or hire someone quickly who may not be.
Culture fit and employer branding
The challenge comes down to finding the balance between waiting for the candidate who is a good culture fit versus hiring quickling and taking the risk of appointing a candidate who doesn't share the company's prevailing work ethic and values.
HR need to emphasise a great culture and a well-thought-out EVP (employee value proposition) at the forefront of their hiring strategy, one that should be ‘owned’ by the top executives. It can however be dificult to communicate the EVP both clearly and consistently as its communication very much depends on who passes on the message - an employer, employee or a potential candidate. What's more, hiring IT professionals on various levels (from junior to senior or executive level) requires the EVP message to be tailored each time depending on factors inclduing the candidates' demographics, their experience and the seniority of the roles.
Hiring for start-ups, or less recognizable brands, puts an additional layer of complexity on HR professionals in terms of attracting IT applicants - due in part to lower profit margins and undefined EVPs. In such cases, companies tend to turn towards investing in innovative sourcing strategies and technologies that use data and insights as a basis for targeting particular groups of would-be candidates.
Diversity is another challenge in tech sector, faced by both start-ups and fast-growing companies. Numerous surveys have shown this lack of gender diversity is a result of an unconscious bias that impacts hiring processes, promotions, and compensations.
The dearth of female role models in the IT sector also indirectly impacts young girls when choosing their future career.
As data proves that more diverse companies achieve better financial results, many organisations have begun including diversity and inclusion-promoting strategies to attract female applicants.
The above concerns give us a taste of what HR teams face in rapidly-growing IT and tech firms. For details on coping with these issues, get in touch with us or check out our case studies to see how others have approached similar challenges.